Netflix boss declares interest in deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Ted Sarandos has sights set on working with couple as politicians speak out on royal split

Ellie Harrison,Conrad Duncan
Sunday 19 January 2020 15:28 GMT
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Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has declared he is interested in working with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, following the couple’s decision to step down as senior royals.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the royal family means they are now able to strike lucrative commercial contracts and follow in the footsteps of Barack and Michelle Obama, who signed with Netflix to make TV and film projects in 2018.

Speaking at an event in Los Angeles, Mr Sarandos said he has his sights set on working with the royals: “Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure.”

The Duchess of Sussex has already struck a deal for voiceover work with Disney, in exchange for a charitable donation, while her husband has worked with Oprah Winfrey on a documentary on mental health for Apple TV+.

News of Mr Sarandos’ interest came as senior politicians commented on the new arrangement between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the royal family on Sunday.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, said he believed the whole country will want to wish the couple “the very best”.

On Sunday morning, James Cleverly, the Conservative Party chairman, said Meghan had been “subjected to a huge amount of media interest” and acknowledged that this could have been difficult for her.

“I understand that not everyone wants to live their lives in the media bubble and with that level of intense scrutiny, and that’s completely understandable,” Mr Cleverly told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge.

“I’m glad they’ve clearly come to an arrangement that the Queen is happy with and they’re happy with.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott criticised media coverage of the duchess and accused some media commentators of being “stridently hostile” towards her.

“Extraordinary how much of the media insists on putting the most negative and hostile spin on the new arrangements,” Ms Abbott wrote on Twitter.

As part of the new arrangements, Prince Harry will be forced to give up his honorary military titles, including his position as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

Sir Alan West, the former head of the Navy, has described the situation as “extremely sad”.

“I think it is unfortunate, after his splendid service in the military, that he will now no longer be involved with the military in the UK,” he told ITV’s Chris Ship.

Although Harry will step down from royal duties, he is expected to continue with his charity and advocacy work.

Representatives from the Rugby Football League, Rhino Conservation Botswana and the Invictus Games said they expected the duke to continue working with them.

A spokesperson for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust told The Independent that the couple would continue in their roles as president and vice president of the organisation.

On Saturday, the couple also announced plans to repay the £2.4m public funds used to refurbish their official residence in Windsor, Frogmore House, and said they would no longer receive public funding through the sovereign grant.

They will, however, remain funded privately by the Prince of Wales.

On Sunday, comments by Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle were broadcast by Channel 5. In a clip from an upcoming documentary he accused his daughter and her husband of “cheapening” the royal family, saying Meghan was throwing away “every girl’s dream” by pulling back from front-line royal duties. “It looks like she’s tossing that away for money,” he added.

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